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Dec December

This Day in Georgia Civil War History

December 05, 1860

Secessionists Active in Georgia

Abraham Lincoln was “officially” elected on this date, as electors gathered to cast their electoral votes. In the meeting of the Massachusetts electors, the chairman of the meeting assured those present that the President-elect would remain silent publicly until his inauguration:

His mouth will be shut with regard to the particular manner he may purpose to discharge the duties of his high office until he shall have taken the required oath, …and he be able to speak as one having authority, and under official responsibility: and then the American people may expect to hear from him words of wisdom, moderation, firmness and prudence. Source: Harold Holzer, Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2008, pp. 524-525.

Secession supporters in Georgia were not keeping silent by any means. Despite the pro-secession feelings of many, both in the press and in the legislature, it was far from certain that the majority of Georgia citizens - who would soon be voting to send representatives to the convention to consider secession - favored secession. Herschel Johnson noted that “the secessionists all over the state are active and noisy.” T.R.R Cobb was traversing the state giving lengthy speeches with “great effect.” And someone wrote on this day that what was driving the secessionists so hard was the belief that “a desperate battle has to be fought in Georgia.” Source of quotes: Michael P. Johnson, Toward a Patriarchal Republic: The Secession of Georgia, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 1977, pp. 20-21.